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I have a small pond (1/10 acre (100ft x 50ft) 8ft deep) that is man made and about 6 years old now. The pond is following the typical cycle of a new pond and is currently in the algae bloom cycle. I've been using chemicals, but want to move to aeration to improve the quality of the pond. First choice in aeration is whether to use an electric pump or a windmill. I'm leaning toward the windmill since it's decorative at the same time and energy efficient. Looking at the various windmill aeration systems available, it looks like these are the primary choices:

•Koenders (http://www.koenderswindmills.com/)

•Outdoor Water Solutions (http://www.outdoorwatersolutions.com/store/index.php)

•Superior Windmills (http://www.superiorwindmill.com/)

•Beckermills (http://beckermills.com/)

•American Eagle (http://www.pondaeration.com/)

Does anybody have any experience with any of these windmills? Can you comment on reliability, maintenance, performance or satisfaction with the product?

The American Eagle is a bellows type compressor while the others are diaphram compressors. If anyone has an American Eagle Windmill, what's your experience been with the bellow?

Thank you in advance.

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A windmill will be more maintenance than an air compressor system. I sold windmills for years and still have one operating from 1988. The diaphragm and gear box bearings are a 'bear' to work on up off the ground 12-20 ft. High winds 70mph+ can cause big damages. Check valves can be troublesome and interfere with diffuser operation. I am seeing alot of earlier aeration windmills not working now due to neglect and people not knowing what to do. A windmill will be initially more expensive than a cheaper do-it-yourself small electric system for a small pond such as yours.

An electrical system is reliable and produces high amounts of air when it is needed most during the calmer wind months of Jul-Aug. See below for economical systems for what some members are using and testing and they seem to be working okay so far. Without weighted airline and only one diffuser you could be effectively aerating your small pond for about $200-$300. PM me or those with Eco systems if you want some specifics about where to get parts. The links provide good information. Your little 0.1 ac pond does not need a sophisicated expensive system to turn it over. Don't expect an aerator to solve your algae problems. An aerator can improve water quality but improved water quality can also grow lots of algae. Algae growth and biomass are dependent on nutrient load. More nutrients = more algae. Manage the nutrients.

Lowest cost - unproven long term:
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=300588#Post300588

Higher cost Do-it yourself. $480-$600. Proven long term 20-40 yrs.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=301242#Post301242

Check very good vendors here for high quality aeration systems. These vendors will also be able to provide pond management advice to compliment their aeration systems.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/07/12 05:11 PM.

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An electrical aeration system also works on calm, overcast days when you need aeration the most.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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I have an American Eagle and so far I am happy with it, I have a neighbor with a bucket truck so it made it a lot easier to install it. I know electric would have been a better aeration system but I wanted the look of the windmill too. I keep meaning to take a picture, I just have been kind of busy.

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I have a similar question . . . my new 1/2 acre pond (250'Lx90'Wx12'D) is out in our "south forty" and there is no electric service out there. The cost to run 120V service out there would be $3,500 - $4,000 and the on-going electric usage cost is not cheap either. So that ain't gonna happen.

I hear several nay-sayers about the windmill approach to aeration but if I have no alternative what are my options? If I go with a windmill what are the features that I should look for.

Last edited by Elsie H; 09/28/12 09:17 AM.

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How many feet do you have to run electric to get to the pond?


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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It's about 400 ft. with a creek in the way.


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Other than having to run under the creek, you could run air line that distance with no problem if you can put the electric compressor where there is electric now. If you do decide to go that route, I'd trench in the air line, encasing it in a larger dia PVC pipe that started on one side of the creek,went somewhat under the creek bed, and ended on the other side of the creek. Once the PVC is under the creek, it wouldn't be hard to fish the airline thru the PVC pipe. (2"-3" dia for ease of fishing thru)


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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If you have to have a windmill, a client has Koenders but there WAS a 2 week period last Feb that had overcast days, fog and little wind. The only pond that had a fishkill was the pond that only had a windmill aeration system. The other ponds, in addition to the windmill aeration system had electric aeration systems too.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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How about one of these:



The pic was taken buzzing down the highway at 75 with the cell stuck out the window. Fat fingers holding it and steering with my knee while I snapped the pic. Hey, I wasn't texting laugh

Don't let the pic fool you. Where the turbine/generator is, is 476 feet up. Those blades are pretty darn long. Supposed to produce 100 megawatts each. I guess they have 56 going in.

You can see the North bound side of the road. Ya get a better view of it all going that direction.

Pink Floyd album cover! Kinda creepy if you ask me.

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Originally Posted By: JKB
Pink Floyd album cover! Kinda creepy if you ask me.

What?

The interesting thing about windmills over the years is that the original designs had many short blades and the newer designs have only three very long blades. I'm sure it is due to efficiency studies and engineering for the type of work to be done. But I'm still amazed at the contrast in designs.


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Originally Posted By: Elsie H
Originally Posted By: JKB
Pink Floyd album cover! Kinda creepy if you ask me.

What?

The interesting thing about windmills over the years is that the original designs had many short blades and the newer designs have only three very long blades. I'm sure it is due to efficiency studies and engineering for the type of work to be done. But I'm still amazed at the contrast in designs.


You need to see the whole spectrum of the installation, up close, that goes for several miles.

The first time you see these, towering well over the tallest trees, kinda catches your attention.

I doubt it is online yet. I have been by this 6 times over the past couple months and never saw a blade move. You can see huge cranes setting up more as you drive by.

Pretty sure a boat load of engineering went into this, and hope it works.

Consumers of electricity are actually paying for this, because that is where they get their funds. Nothing you can do about it except fork over the cash.

Ever notice your electric rates go up?

Yep, the correct photo of this installation would make a great Pink Floyd album cover.

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I would recommend a wind turbine like the one in the picture. It might be a little overkill for a tenth acre, but the cost seems reasonable. Here is what they cost a few years ago.

The costs for a commercial scale wind turbine in 2007 ranged from $1.2 million to $2.6 million, per MW of nameplate capacity installed.


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They use Rt. 30 as one of the roads to transport the blades on. There's a truckstop less than 2 miles as the crow flies from the house, and last Thursday a BMW thought it could drive under the blade as the truck was pulling out of the truckstop. Unfortunately, the blade won.

What I heard was that the spotter was saying "no, no" instead of "stop" and the truck driver thought he was saying "go, go".


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Elsie - Do consider the buried airline from an air compressor to the pond. If you are pushing air more than 400-600ft then consider upsizing the airline to 3/4" ID. We can push air 1000ft if everything is sized properly. If you use a rotary vane compressor then size of airline more than 400ft becomes more important, and less important with the rocking piston compressor that can operate easily more than 10 psi and push air through 5/8" ID pipe easily at 500+ft. Re-evaluate the electric compressor with buried airline before buying a windmill. A windmill is better aeration than no aeration. Buried airline can be trenched and has to be underground only 3"-6". I have seen gas distribution lines not buried as they cross a narrow, shallow creek or ditch. You might be able to slide the airline in metal pipe and pass it across the creek about a foot underground on each side of the creek bank and exposed as it passes over the water. Airline IMO should be in metal pipe during floods to prevent debris such as floating trees and logs from 'hanging up' and snagging - bending the pipe-airline. Also depending on the elevation and height of the creek bank you might be able to transverse the creek with the airline-pipe above flood waterlevel, thus the chance of debris hanging on the pipe during flooding is minimal?

Look at the links above for chooices and options for windmills. One of the big disadvantages to windmills is the maintainence of the diaphragm, bearings, and compressor which are located 16-20 ft off the ground. Greasing pivot joints is usually regular maintenance. I've seen the darn things will blow down in very strong winds. Bolts hold the windmill together and I don't think the manufacturers provide loc nuts for windmills.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 09/29/12 10:17 PM.

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Thanks Bill Cody. I am stepping back from my earlier windmill consideration and taking a good look at airline routing options. I could easily "bridge" over the creek where there are steep banks on both sides and also the narrowest bank-to-bank distance. This would greatly reduce the distance as well as complexity of the routing. In 31 years I have never seen the water level get above this deep ravine area. Luckily I have some time to make my decision and to instal the system.


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While I respect all of the comments regarding windmills due to the maintenance required, I may have the one of the few exceptions to the rule but mine has been installed for 11 years and I have yet to do any maintenance. It has never blown over as it is anchored to steel post in concrete and it sits dead level which leads to prolonged bearing life.

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Roy - I have a neighbor who has had a windmill for 7 years and has never had an ounce of trouble with it. His is a four legged model and he has it mounted with two legs on hinges. It's a 20 footer but we get it to come down very easily with two of us. Each fall he and I lower it for a good cleaning, lube, and inspection. We'll probably be getting together to do the annual job again in a few weeks.


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For what its worth. I have had 2 windmills now for 8 seasons. I too have been very fortunate not to have had any problems with mine. I placed my mills close to the pond with a good slope on the buried air line to minimize the chance of freeze up. I clean my stones every year and replace the check valve at the stones every year. With that stated, if I could have run an airline and used an electric pump, I would not have messed around with the windmills. I am dreading the day when I have to fix one of them with 2' of snow on the ground and minus -10F air temp!

IMO...Windmills have their place but should be a last option and most certainley NOT considered an inexpensive option.

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Windmills can give good service. Some have had much better experiences with windmills compared to others that are not so fortunate. Two recently installed windmills on ponds on my 'travel route to town' blew down this summer. Every windmill will eventually need service. It all depends. Just as with any other product there can be problems soon after putting it in service. I was just noting some of the problems that I've observed with those that have had problems with their windmills.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 10/01/12 08:56 PM.

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Esshup, That guy was from where I live. I guess the one died and other is in real bad shape.


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